Jan 29, 2013 at 7:48 am #1298572
We announced this at the GGG last weekend, but I thought the general BPL audience would also like to know. Brian Frankle has joined Six Moon Designs as Director of Pack Designs. Together, he and I are developing a new architecture for the next generation of backpacks.
We are really excited about the new architectural pack design and what it holds for the future. We'll be announcing actual pack details in the coming months as they get closer to production.
Six Moon DesignsJan 29, 2013 at 8:07 am #1948388
Unbelievable news. Very excited about the "one, two" punch here.Jan 29, 2013 at 9:18 am #1948407
@pkhLocale: Nova Scotia
Oh yeah. I own packs made by both Brian and Ron – I expect to see great things from this team.Jan 29, 2013 at 9:53 am #1948417
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
I also own packs by both and am excited to see what they come up with.Jan 29, 2013 at 10:58 am #1948432
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
Can I get you guys any coffee?
Warm up cars/ scrape windshields?
I'm local.Jan 29, 2013 at 11:10 am #1948437
@kalebcLocale: South West
Honestly never heard of him, would like to know more…Jan 29, 2013 at 11:14 am #1948441
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Mary Shelley's son.
Just kidding. He is the founder of ULA.Jan 29, 2013 at 11:23 am #1948448
From ULA Website:
"Ultralight Adventure Equipment was established in 2001, 2 years after Brian Frankles’ thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. At that time a few other companies existed that catered to ultralight backpacking enthusiasts, but the majority of innovation was coming from home-based creative folks that happened to have some sewing skill, a copy of Ray Jardine’s, “A Pacific Crest Trails Hiker Handbook,” and an internet connection to share their ideas with the online trail community. While planning and hiking the PCT, Brian was caught between the intrigue of Jardine’s techniques and the traditional approach to backpacking upon which his prior experiences were based. He began his 2500 mile journey northbound from Mexico with a 25 lb base weight and a stomach full of anxiety. Brian strolled into Canada with a 12 lb base weight and the feeling that the world of long distance hiking was wide open.
After a one year apprenticeship with a local pack make, Brian took the skills he had developed and struck out on his own, designing gear that would address the needs of ultralight and lightweight hikers as well as transitioning traditionalists…a balanced compromise of comfort, function, and durability. The original gear (P-1 and P-2 Packs) were received warmly by the distance hiking community and ULA-Equipment quickly established itself as a provider of functional, durable equipment…albeit a slow provider! A 4 month backlog was standard , but the customers were incredibly gracious, recognizing that Brian was one man with one sewing machine, working hard and doing his best. In the ensuing years, Brain created packs that became the gold standard for through hikers. His first hand knowledge and backpacking skills made him one of the most respected authorities in the world of ultra light equipment."Jan 29, 2013 at 11:40 am #1948450
Oh great. I'm close to pulling the trigger on one of Brian's old designs (Catalyst), and now I have to play the waiting game to see if they come up with something better suited for my needs.
I suppose its a good problem to have.
Can't wait to see what you guys have up your sleeve! Congrats on the partnership!Jan 29, 2013 at 11:54 am #1948453
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
Good news indeed! Can't wait to see what's being cooked up!Jan 29, 2013 at 12:01 pm #1948455
@aroth87Locale: Missouri Ozarks
That's awesome! Maybe we can get an updated version of the old Relay. I'm bummed I never bought one before they were discontinued, it seems like it would have been perfect for the trail work I do.
I actually just purchased and Borah Gear Stealth to replace a circa 2007 Conduit that's finally worn out. I'm excited to see what the collaboration of Ron and Brian brings. A Swift was on my short list before I bought the Stealth.
AdamJan 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm #1948457
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Wonderful! I have wondered what Brian was up to since he sold ULA. Does that mean that Brian is moving to the Portland area? If so, welcome! If you haven't yet discovered http://www.portlandhikers.org, it's a great area (Oregon and SW Washington) hiking forum with an excellent Field Guide to many local trails.
I look forward to great things happening with this combination. I might even end up buying a new pack, even though my SMD Comet (2005 model bought in early 2006) is still holding up just fine!Jan 29, 2013 at 12:17 pm #1948459
Welcome back Brian !!!Jan 29, 2013 at 12:25 pm #1948463
@maynard76Locale: New England
Good news. Maybe pack design will finally improve. I have not really felt the need to upgrade from my 08 Golite Jam2 since the pack market seems to have nothing very different or better since then. I still love the design of the AMP but the straps just did not fit my frame. Good luck guys.Jan 29, 2013 at 2:53 pm #1948541
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
"Unbelievable news. Very excited about the "one, two" punch here."
+100 This is about the only thing I can think of that might persuade me to switch
from my OHM.Jan 29, 2013 at 3:18 pm #1948549
Frankle's genius designs and eye for aesthetics + Moak's manufacturing capacity and overall strong UL foundation + collective experience of 2 industry vets…
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jan 29, 2013 at 6:01 pm #1948615
Excellents news. I'm looking forward to some amazing innovation and refinement.Jan 29, 2013 at 6:14 pm #1948618
@kat_pLocale: Pacific Coast
For being such a "celebrity " he sure seemed very down to earth at the GGG last weekend.Jan 29, 2013 at 7:00 pm #1948638
@mountainwalkerLocale: SF Bay Area & New England
Met him briefly at the GGG this past weekend. Seemed like a very nice and down to earth guy. I didn't even realize he was Brian from ULA! Anyway looking forward to great things from this collaboration.
Congratulations Brian and Ron!Jan 29, 2013 at 7:44 pm #1948658
I now suspect that Ron planted a dead rat inside Brian's van just to get him out of there.Jan 29, 2013 at 8:19 pm #1948673
@jephotoLocale: New Zealand
Great news for gear junkies everywhere:) Good luck to all involved.Jan 29, 2013 at 8:32 pm #1948678
@kwersalLocale: Western Colorado
I'll have to work really hard to wear out my Conduit this spring so I can justify a new purchase.Jan 29, 2013 at 10:37 pm #1948703
@romonsterLocale: SF Bay Area
Having had the opportunity to meet both Ron and Brian at the GGG and hear a little about their ideas, these packs are definitely on my list of Gear I Would Very Much Like to Have in the Future!Jan 31, 2013 at 7:44 pm #1949504
+200. Two great minds and two great beards. (Well, Brian needs a little mentoring on beards from Ron). CarolJan 31, 2013 at 10:07 pm #1949549
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
As a chronic pessimist when it comes to pack design I have a some food for a pack designer's thought:
1. There are no comfortable packs – only packs that are less uncomfortable than others.
2. Pack design, like economics, is a "dismal science". Too many variables to account for. (Of course an adjustable length harness is a big help, as is a "cutout" in the hipbelt for one's iliac crest.)
3. Internal frames are (usually) better than external frames. But "framesheets" are almost useless for load transfer.
4. A frameless pack is miserable beyond 15 lbs. (Jus' sayin'.)
5. Any pack that does not permit the addition of aftermarket side pockets is limiting itself.
6. Pack bottom fabric MUST be very abrasion resistant.
7. A backpack W/O lift straps is cheap and uncomfortable.
8. Finally, a pack W/O the option of a removavle top lid/fanny pack also limits the owner's packing & day tripping options.
Of course most of this applies to backpacks as opposed to daypacks.
Do I sound curmudgeonly?
Do hip belts make my belly seem fat?
Do Lycra pants make my thighs look too big?
Should I write to Dear Abby instead of BPL?
Anyway Brian, good luck with "The Dismal Science". We'll be hoping for an almost comfortable pack from SMD.
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